The Honourable Warren K. Winkler, O.C., O.Ont., Q.C., LL.D. (Hon.)
The Honourable Warren K. Winkler, O.C., O.Ont., Q.C., B.A., LL.B, LL.M., LL.D. (Hon.) is recognized as one of Canada’s leading mediators, having mediated, both as a judge and as counsel, some of the country’s most significant and complex labour, corporate and class action disputes. Mr. Winkler has been a Mediator and Arbitrator at Arbitration Place since 2014, and has assisted a variety of public and private parties in the resolution of their disputes through arbitration and mediation.
Prior to becoming a full-time Alternative Dispute Resolution practitioner, Mr. Winkler served as Chief Justice of Ontario and President of the Court of Appeal from 2007 until his retirement in 2013. From 1993 to 2007, Mr. Winkler sat as a trial judge on the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, serving as Regional Senior Justice for the Toronto Region for several years. During his tenure on the bench, Mr. Winkler was also Vice Chair of the Canadian Judicial Council.
Mr. Winkler practiced as one of Canada’s most influential labour and class action lawyers, and was a founding partner of Winkler, Filion and Wakely, a prominent labour law firm with a national reputation.
As lawyer and judge, Mr. Winkler has helped resolve significant disputes, including: Air Canada’s restructuring; Ontario Hydro and Power Workers; the Windsor-Michigan Tunnel; CanWest/Shaw Cable restructuring; Algoma Steel restructuring; and the arbitration of the dispute between the University of Toronto and its faculty. He has decided and administered many major class action proceedings including those relating to: Bre-X; Hepatitis C; Breast Implants; Tobacco; Walkerton tainted water; Mad Cow Disease; and Native Residential Schools.
In 2012, Osgoode Hall Law School created the Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution, at which Mr. Winkler serves as Honorary Chair and Distinguished Professor. He is also the Honorary Chair of the Advisory Committee of the Centre for Law in the Contemporary Workplace at Queen’s University. Mr. Winkler holds honorary degrees from the Law Society of Upper Canada and nine Canadian universities. He is the recipient of: The International Academy of Mediators’ Lifetime Achievement Award; the Ontario Bar Association’s President’s Award and Award of Excellence in Alternative Dispute Resolution; the University of Toronto’s Bora Laskin Award for Outstanding Contribution to Canadian Labour Law; the Award of Distinction from the Toronto Lawyers’ Association; and most recently the Order of Ontario.
Mr. Winkler has published and speaks frequently on a range of topics including class actions, access to justice, alternative dispute resolution, labour relations, judicial mediation and civil justice reform. He recently co-authored The Law of Class Actions in Canada with Justice Paul M. Perell, Professor Jasminka Kalajdzic, and Alison M. Warner.
In January 2016, Mr. Winkler was the Silas E. Halyk Visiting Scholar in Advocacy at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law, where he lectured on the topic of access to justice and shared reflections from his time on the bench. A copy of Mr. Winkler’s speech is available here.
Mr. Winkler was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada on July 1, 2016.
Upon his retirement as Chief Justice of Ontario, Mr. Winkler was honoured by The Advocates’ Society with a tribute video commissioned from an award-winning videographer. The video, entitled “Just Call Me Wink”, is available here.